25o A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT he himself would sew up this case. The latter was a pretty object of red sheepskin leather, one side being branded with criss-cross diagonal lines. A long skein of twisted scarlet, green, and yellow woollen threads ran through one edge of the case to serve as a loop wherewith to keep it attached to one's clothing. "This talisman will only be useful when you use it, as I have written your name on it," Moussa observed, "and it will be valueless to anyone else. After I have sewn it up, always wear it under your shirt close to the skin, and take care not to lose it; because, if you do, you will never find it again. Meanwhile, carry the paper folded up into a small piece." Without any fuss or ceremony, other than a laying-on of hands and a lengthy chanted invocation, the final transmission of the mystic power was accomplished. Thenceforth I should be immune against scorpion and snake, he claimed. The initiation had yet to have its value tested; although Moussa admitted that the immunity would last for no more than two years, after which time I should have to seek him out again, if I desired to obtain a renewal of the transmitted power.